Legal Business

Calling time at the Bar – Quality fears for English judges are growing as top QCs turn away from the bench


Disillusionment within the England and Wales judiciary was laid bare by the findings of the UK Judicial Attitude Survey in February this year. Pay freezes, pension cuts and increased workload have evidently soured the mood at the bench.

The survey, carried out by the UCL Judicial Institute, indicated that 86% of judges who had been in the post for at least five years believed that working conditions had worsened since 2010. And nearly a third of judges are considering leaving their positions early in the next five years. Perhaps even more worryingly, a high proportion of judges said that reduced pension benefits (76%) and a reduction in income in real terms (69%) would discourage people from joining the bench.